A local station in Diego Sanchez’s hometown reported earlier this week that according to his camp, his next fight will be at UFC 74 on August 25 in Las Vegas against Hayato “Mach” Sakurai.
I didn’t post the rumor immediately because I wasn’t sure how credible it was. However, MMAWeekly.com now lists Sanchez vs. Sakurai on the UFC 74 fight card in their “rumors” section. While not official, MMAWeekly.com’s decision to add the match is a step up from just a message forum post.
Sakurai has fought in Pride for the past several years and is ranked as MMAWeekly.com’s number two lightweight in the World. He fought at 161 pounds for Pride so it appears for now, if the rumors are true, that he’ll be moving up to 170 as opposed to cutting to 155.
If Sakurai fights at UFC 74, it will actually be the second time he’s fought in the UFC. He last fought for the UFC in 2002, losing at Matt Hughes at UFC 36 in the “Worlds Collide” PPV.
Sakurai holds wins over Frank Trigg, Joachim Hansen, and Jens Pulver.